Harrogate soldiers say farewell to Captain Sir Tom Moore

Young British Army recruits in Harrogate were granted the privilege of forming the honour guard for the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 11:57 am
Commemorating Captain Sir Tom Moore - Young soldiers at Harrogate's Army Foundation College. (Photo courtesy of Cpl Danielle Dawson / Crown Copyright).

Soldiers from Harrogate’s Army Foundation College (AFC), which specialises in training 16 and 17-year-olds, fulfilled the wishes of the late serviceman’s family at the weekend.

Commanding Officer (CO) of the AFC, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother MC, said: “The college is really lucky to be supporting the Yorkshire Regiment with the funeral. Captain Sir Tom was a generous, warm soul. Just a lovely person to have around.

“He came to the college twice. Everyone found that he was a hugely optimistic person, he loved being around the military environment. He was amazed at the development we put into these young people.”

Six troops from the AFC were present at the event on Saturday honouring the AFC’s Honorary Colonel, five of whom were Junior Soldiers (JS), with a training instructor heading up the guard.

17-year-old JS Amy Carr, from Newcastle, said: “It’s an honour to be a part of the day. I’m speechless, to be honest.

“I remember that he had so much courage. He smashed it! The money he raised would have made such a difference.”

The AFC held a Covid-compliant graduation parade last week, which saw over 500 recruits celebrate the conclusion of training that has been disrupted by the global pandemic.

Reflecting on the achievements of the current cohort of trainees, Lieutenant Colonel Farebrother said: “The thing that binds Captain Sir Tom and the soldiers here is that spirit of service.

"The staff are doing an amazing job adapting to life under Covid conditions.”

The Harrogate-based training establishment, which develops around 1,700 of Britain’s next generation of troops annually, will honour the life of the Keighley-born war hero with a new award in his name.

Speaking about the special tribute, Lieutenant Colonel Farebrother said: “Once a year, we will give the prize for charitable endeavour, for someone who really pushes the boundaries for charity. We look forward to presenting that next year.”

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